The Rev. William Klock: “Go!” (John 20:1-18)
Here is a sermon for this past Easter Sunday from Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia which is titled Go!. It is based on John 20:1-18, and Fr. Bill writes these thoughts about what we are to do with the Easter message:
Our calling as Christians is a two-fold one. Jesus has taken up his throne to reign until all his enemies have been put under his feet, but in the meantime he has given us the task of being his royal heralds. He sends us out into the world to announce that he has died for our sins, that he has risen to conquer death, and that he is the world’s true Lord. But he has also poured the Holy Spirit into us to regenerate our hearts and renew our minds, he’s made us a holy people, and in doing that he’s made us agents of his work of re-creation. Again, we often get things wrong in thinking that the Good News is about being holy people and hunkering down to wait for Jesus to rescue us from this evil word. That wrong formulation of the Gospel takes all the power and all the good news out of our proclamation that Jesus is Lord. No, again, the resurrection tells us that Jesus is about the business of transformation, not relocation; he’s about the business of renewing the world, not escape from it. And so we go out to declare the Good News that he is Lord, that he is making all things new, and that he’s coming back; and we seek to manifest his kingdom in the world, not just in our personal holiness, but also as we actively take practical steps and practical actions to show Jesus’ kingdom and to demonstrate his lordship and it’s goodness.
Think of it this way. When a new emperor took the throne in Rome, his heralds were sent out with the good news that Augustus or Tiberius or Vespasian was lord. And their heralds or their officials or their soldiers often brought proof of Caesar’s lordship. Sometimes that came as his officials brought food to hungry people. Sometimes it came in the form of the rule of Roman law and justice to people living in war and chaos. Sometimes it came as Roman soldiers violently showed Caesar’s power by crushing rebellion. But one way or another, Caesar’s representatives showed that he was lord. And yet Caesar was just a pretender at the true lordship that belongs to Jesus. Jesus sends us out as his heralds, not just to proclaim the Good News that he is Lord, but to make the perfect goodness of his lordship known. The proclamation and the lives we live go hand in hand. Jesus calls us to show the world the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus calls us to give of ourselves sacrificially for the sake of others, just as he did. And Jesus calls us to actively work to make the mercy and the justice and the grace of God’s kingdom manifest in the world. We proclaim this morning the acclamation: “He is risen!”. Brothers and Sisters, don’t just proclaim it here. Proclaim it to the world and don’t just proclaim it with your mouths, but live it in such a way that people around you will know that because Jesus has risen everything has changed; live it in such a way that everyone around you sees that Jesus’ kingdom has come.
As Fr. Bill makes clear, we are to spread forth this Easter message by living it as well as by proclaiming it. Quite a good sermon, and if you’d like to hear the whole thing, you can do so here.